With less than a month, so much uncertainty remains as schools reopen or plan for the reopening of their buildings to students and educators. To ensure the safety of students, educators and staff, things might look very different in classrooms and social spaces – the Coronavirus has forever changed education.
Where We Learn Matters
Returning to a school building for the first time since emergency remote learning was put in effect has been a stressful event. The most important priority has been to welcome students and educators back to an environment that keeps them as safe as possible and helps them feel safe as well, with a combination of in-person and remote learning.
In school buildings, almost every operational concern, from social-distancing-friendly class schedules to cleaning times, has implications for instruction.
Before you start moving your desks around, make sure your preferred seating arrangement can work within the space and with the existing school furniture that you have. For many teachers, the whiteboard is a major focus in their teaching – it is important that students can clearly see it without too much strain or difficulty. For more mobility and flexibility, consider using a rolling whiteboard on wheels that can be easily moved around the classroom. We have the challenge of keeping students healthy while maintaining a productive and supportive environment.
What is Social Distancing?
The term “social distancing” refers to measures being taken to restrict where and when people can gather in order to stop or slow the spread of infectious disease. In general, 6 feet of separation is the distance that should be kept between students.
When schools reopen, students will be greeted by plexiglass barriers, partitions and new classroom configurations designed to keep them as far apart as possible.
Students will be sectioned off throughout the school, from offices to hallways, which will be one-directional if possible, and passing times will be staggered to reduce traffic. It will not be school as usual, but at least, it will be school.
Our General Recommendations
- Space student desks a minimum of six feet apart. Place markings on the floor to help students, teachers and maintenance staff remember where to place desks.
- Reduce occupancy, if possible, 12 to 15 desks in a classroom would be ideal.
- Create more floor space by removing storage cabinets, worktables, and other non-essential equipment.
- Use cleanable Plexiglass dividers or movable whiteboards to separate desks and teacher workstations.
- Provide a hand sanitizing station in the entrance of each classroom.
For more insights on how to safely reconfigure your classrooms this fall, give us a call at 1-888-230-2280 for a complimentary consultation with one of our specialists.
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